I am a solo female traveler. I am seriously considering the Belgium/Holland tour OR the GAS tour. I think both tours look great, but I am worried that if I take the GAS tour and don't have anyone to go around with in the free time, it will be difficult as a solo traveler in Switzerland, to go to see the falls or hikes among other wonderful outside things to do. I know playing it safe if I take the Belgium/Holland then I would go to shops, wonderful museums but I am very interested in the GAS tour. I have been wanting to go, but worried, am I overthinking it. I am thinking of the end of June, would that be a good time to go on either tour? Thank you for all your help.
We've been on half a dozen RS Tours including GAS. There have been solo females on all of them and I don't remember a single incident in which the solo was left to her own devices. Occasionally one wanted to go off by herself to do something and she did and that was fine. Overall, there has always been a very good assimilation by the paired up travelers of the solos. Don't worry about it or overthink it. Trust me, you will be fine. Go for the GAS and enjoy.
I have traveled as a solo female on 8 trips. Finding companions has never been a problem. I have taken the Belgium Holland tour, but not GAS. Instead, I took the MyWay Alpine. I liked Belgium Holland and want to return to several of the locations. However, the GAS or equivalent locations are my favorite. If you want to go there, do it. Be assured you will have companions or can go it alone in spare time - as you wish. That includes Switzerland. Note, after several tours, sometimes, I opt for a day off and stay behind while the group takes a day tour. I did so in Delft. It was wonderful.
Happy choosing. Debbie
I have taken 13 RS tours and second what Debbie posted. The GAS tour was perhaps our most photogenic tour of all. The scenery in Switzerland was the most majestic I have ever seen. I would recommend it highly.
So Ann, I will have to admit I did not think of this issue as I considered the GAS tour. I don't hike alone in Idaho (or Montana or Wyoming, lol) so I am not sure I would be comfortable hiking alone in Switzerland with 2 exceptions. I could easily do the Mannlichen to Kleine Scheidegg hike which I have done before (and think I could read the sign to get on the right trail) and I would be comfortable walking from Lauterbrunnen to Stechelberg. I walked from Trummelbach to Stechelberg solo last year along the river and realized you really can't get lost, lol.
I will say that the signage in Switzerland (based on my one day there, lol) is excellent whereas you sometimes have to do route-finding in Idaho/MT/WY, it's more populated with hikers and best of all, no bears or wolves to contend with!
Now you have me thinking, darn it!
I was on the GAS tour on September 1-14. The Trummelbach Falls is included with your tour. Your guide will decide which day your group will go to the falls. It will depend on the weather. Our first full day in Murren was rainy, so it was a good day to visit the falls, as it is inside the mountain. Our second full day, the sun came out and everyone in our group wanted to go to the top of the Shilthorn viewing platform. You will want clear weather so you can see all the mountain peaks below you. It is incredibly beautiful. The trip up to the Shilthorn is not included in your tour, and it is expensive. You take two sets of cable cars to the top and back down again. I think the price was 65 francs (about $65). It is worth the price if can see anything. If it is foggy, rainy or snowing, it is an expensive ride for nothing. The earlier you go, the better the chance for clear weather. After we went up and came back down, our tour guide lead a hike on the mountain. There were about 18 of the 28 tour members that went on the hike. Our hike was called "North Face". We took the funicular that was close to our hotel part of the way up the mountain. I think the price for this was 15 francs. (We paid our guide for all of these extra tours. She bought all the tickets at a cheaper price than we could do on our own). The hike was fairly easy. It was the highlight of our whole trip. Looking at the mountain peaks with the green valley below was Breathtaking. We had no singles on this tour, but all the other RS tours we have taken had singles on them. Everyone includes singles on hikes and dinners. GO ON THIS TOUR. You will create memories of some of the most beautiful places on earth. P. S. The rest of the trip is awesome also. I Loved Hallstatt, Salzburg, the Open air Museum, Burg Eltz our lunch stops in Bielstein and Landau, the museums and palaces in Munich and Vienna! You'll have a wonderful trip!
If you are part of a RS tour, you are not a solo traveler! You will be included in free time activities with others if you want, everyone does not scatter and vanish as soon as the tour guide says you are free. :-)
I have done 12 RS tours, all as a single traveler. I have never had difficulties finding a sub group or even just another single of those on the trips to tag along with for free time activity. Except for a couple of travelers here and there who just didn't seem to want to do much of anything with the group, everyone has been more than happy to include me and other single travelers with them. All you have to do is ask. There are always others on the trips that want to do the same free time activities that you will want to do. Not sure why you feel you must do things alone if you don't have someone traveling with you. And of course if you do want to do some thing all by yourself, there will not be anyone forcing you to join them either.
Ann, I hope you don't mind me responding again. I do realize it's your thread, lol!!
Janet, what you describe is what I, personally, would be looking for in Switzerland. I would want the guide to head me off in the right direction! I enjoyed hiking with the group on the 21BOE I did but for some reason I was not sure if the GAS guide offered some options on the free days as well. I found that going for any optional hikes on the RS tours really works well for me. Heck, I will go for anything optional that the guides offer!
Mark, on one of the recent RS tours I did (and on another company's tours) I did find my energy level did not match up with some of the other travelers so I wound up doing a number of things solo, including walking up to a stone circle on the Best of England tour while others stayed around town. That usually never bothers me, but for some reason I started to worry about this tour. And actually, that is what happened when I walked back from Trummelbach Falls to Stechelberg...even after a long day, I was not quite ready to stop walking...and looking!
our RS guides have always been willing to make recommendation, and go out of their way to help people manage their free time. And often, they will be doing some hiking / touring in the free time as well, and invite anyone who wants to join them to go along. No hesitation in recommending GAS for a solo. You won't feel alone unless you want to be.
Ann, Going by yourself on Germany, Austria, Switzerland trip will be very fun. There will be lots of like-minded people to explore with. You will also really like Switzerland in that late-June time frame.
I took this tour as a single traveler. I had no trouble finding people to do things with. I think one of the best times I had was going to the "naked" spa in Baden Baden with the 71 year old wife of an ex minister. We had a blast. I went about the same time you are thinking of going and it was great. I also researched each stop to determine what there was to do and in some cases organized a group to do things myself in the free time. As an example. In Salzburg there is a great puppet theater. I talked to the guide about tickets and by the time we were done almost the entire tour was going. But as others have said, I have never really been on my own unless I wanted to be. Go for it, it was one of my favorite tours.
I want to thank everyone who posted their comments and experiences regarding the GAS tour. Thank you so much for all your advice, detailed experiences which really helped me understand the tour and for your time it took to answer my concerns. This will be my next tour!